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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Bacon-Wrapped Garlic Venison Roast

Bacon-Wrapped Garlic Venison Roast

One of the things I admire most about my deerslayer and his philosophy about hunting is his respect for nature, his respect for the animal, and his appreciation for the right that we have to harvest our own food. I appreciate how he taught our daughters to never hunt anything that you don’t intend to eat.  And that harvesting the deer humanely is more decent than allowing them to overpopulate and ulimately starve.  I agree with his attitude that processing meat is something that we can do at home.  By doing it at home, you know how fresh your meat is, that it’s YOUR meat, and you can package it up the way you need it for your recipes.

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This entry needs to start with a tutorial; because I’m a deerslayer’s wife, a teacher, a homeschooling mom, and a huge proponent of not wasting what God has provided for us. I also have a propensity for sharing things in a step-by-step  tutorial kind of way.   A single venison hind quarter provides my family of four with four to five meals if the muscles are separated out.  Many hunting families are not aware of the versatility of these cuts. The meat is discarded because it is considered tough and too difficult to prepare.

WAKE UP!  There’s so much more that can be done to provide deerslayers’ families with freezers FULL of meal options that are lean, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and food that YOU have provided for YOUR family!

My deerslayer and I have taken a few photos of a venison hind quarter during processing to show the various muscles that can be used and, hopefully, provide some recipes that will work for your family.

The hind quarter provides four large muscles that can be used for different types of recipes.

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The shank or lower leg meat is very sinewy and can either be placed in a vacuum bag with other like cuts of meat and frozen to be ground later or cooked all day (See my recipe for cook-all-day venison in “Come and Take It”).

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After the meat has been skinned out, place it on a large cutting board, hip-side down.  This allows you to see the different muscle groups.

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You will be able to run your hand down between the muscles and separate them from each other by gently tearing away the connective tissue.

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Follow the femur from the shank up through to the hip joint.

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By carefully cutting this bone away, the large muscles will be visible and easy to package up for labeling (this is important as you’re scrounging around in the freezer in a few months wondering what the hell this mystery meat is),  and freezing.

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From one hind quarter, I am able to put away a muscle that, when silvery skin is removed, sears up very much like a tenderloin (it’ll feed about 2 people, but you’ll get another one from the other hind quarter!),

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a muscle that can be pounded out for chicken-fried steaks, venison parmesean and the like, (It is also a good size for making whole-muscle jerky),

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and another large muscle that can be used the same way or trussed up and used in the Bacon Wrapped Garlic Venison Roast Recipe .

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The muscle that I usually use for a roast I refer to as a “football roast”.  It is shaped like a football, and approximately 10 inches long.  Unlike the other muscles in the hind quarter, it is rounded on the ends.

When making a roast, it is beneficial to leave all silvery skin or fascia intact. It will keep the juices from escaping during cooking.  Also, it is imperative that after cooking, the meat must be allowed to rest for at least ten minutes.  Depending on the meat, the fascia can be cut away after it is served and it must be served rare to medium rare, approximately 45 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees.

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Bacon Wrapped Garlic Venison Roast

with Roasted Rosemary Root Veggies

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1 venison “football” roast, approx. 3 lbs.

lots of chopped garlic,  about 1/3 cup

Tommy’s Salt & Pepper Mix*

thick cut maple bacon, 3 slices

a bunch carrots, sliced

red potatoes, one per person, sliced thin

One onion, sliced thin

2-3 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped or leaves

olive oil

more Salt & Pepper Mix

1 cup water or beef stock

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Place roast on a rack cut side up, above a pan to catch drips.  The fascia (silver skin surrounding the muscle) will hold in the juices as the meat cooks. Depending on the roast, the fascia can be eaten or cut away after serving.

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Liberally season cavity in the meat with Salt & Pepper mix and garlic. (I have to admit that I use prepared garlic in a jar for this particular recipe.  I’ve prepared this recipe using fresh garlic and I’ve prepared it using the stuff in the jar. There is so much garlic needed in this recipe that fresh garlic is a little overwhelming.  Don’t get me wrong!  The intense eye-popping flavor is right up the alley of my junior deerslayers.  However, I find that the more subtle flavor of the prepared, chopped garlic allows the other flavors to come through.)

Truss roast.  Season the top of the roast with more S & P mix and add more garlic. Cut 3 slices of bacon in half and lay over top of the roast.

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Place in 350 degree oven for 45 to 55 minutes for a rare to medium rare roast.  I’ve got to say at this point that if you don’t like rare to medium-rare meat, then don’t prepare this recipe.  It simply doesn’t work if overcooked.  The meat is tough and dry.  Just don’t.

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  Let the meat sit for AT LEAST 10 minutes to rest, otherwise, all the meat juices will run out when you cut it.  Serve with horseradish sauce.   I simply mix 2 parts olive oil mayo with 1 part hot prepared horseradish.

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Along with this recipe, in a 9×13 baking dish, toss sliced carrots, potatoes, and onions with S & P mix, olive oil to coat, and chopped rosemary.  Add a little bit of water or stock to the pan (about a cup) and cook in the 350 degree oven with the roast.  Both will be ready about the same time.

*Find Tommy’s Secret Salt & Pepper Mix in my August post.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Hunting, Recipes, Venison

 

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Perfect Hunting Boots

Not too long ago, I was flipping through some catalogs and found a darlingly rugged pair of boots that would be “perfect for hunting”, which means that I would look very chic (in a rugged sort of way) strolling around the hunting camp, preparing fabulous meals and sipping wine in these boots. If you are the type of deerslayer’s wife that I am, you would be interested to know that they DO have heavy soles and are waterproof, all while looking great! This pair of awesome boots is sold at Eddie Bauer AND and Cabela’s and probably other retailers as well. They’re Clarks (Neeve Ella Leather Waterproof, $259.99 from Cabela’s ) and I’m providing a photo for everyone’s enjoyment and approval.

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As is typical for South Texas, it’s been warm enough this winter for snakes to still be out. My deerslayer became a snakeslayer the other weekend when we happened upon a six-foot diamondback rattler near our hunting campsite. I have to admit, my amazing “hunting boots” suddenly just didn’t seem to pass muster. Every stick, vine, water hose, and shadow became a snake in my eyes! It didn’t help that stories around the campfire that evening were told of even larger snakes, some that actually struck at unsuspecting hunters. We saw a total of four snakes that weekend! I had to rethink my hunting persona. Could it include clunky snakeproof boots? Damned Straight it could! Here is a photo of my New Hunting Boots for everyone’s enjoyment and approval.

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Don’t think that I’m storing the Clark’s away to collect dust. As soon as we get some weather cool enough to send the snakes retreating to wherever they retreat to, I’ll be struttin’ my stuff in my “other perfect hunting boots”.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Just Cranberry Dessert

I decided that, since it’s deer season, and since I got an awesome set of cast iron cookware for Christmas, and since MY deerslayer is the best husband (and handsomest, too) on the planet, I would bring the ingredients for his favorite dessert of all time, “Cranberry Dessert” and whip one up out at the hunting camp to surprise him. It’s always been his favorite. I got the recipe from his mom, who prepared it for every holiday during which cranberries were available. Now, because I know that it’s his favorite, I always buy extra cranberries when they’re available and toss them (in the bag) in the freezer. Cranberries freeze great and frozen ones can be used in this recipe very easily. No need to thaw first.
Now I understand that your first reaction to this dessert is…. Shouldn’t it have some catchy alliteration of a name, like Crazy Cranberry Concoction? Or Cranberry Confection? Or….. forget it! My deerslayer is not that kind of guy. He wouldn’t be caught dead requesting something like that. Just plain Cranberry Dessert. If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me…and you.
I’m hoping that I can convey that preparing a full-fledged baked dessert at a hunting camp can be relatively painless and much appreciated.

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Ingredients can be measured out ahead of time.

Bring just enough cranberries, pecans, sugar, etc. for the recipe. Sandwich sized zip-lock bags are great for measuring out sugar, pecans, and the like. I personally keep a Mason jar full of flour out at the camp. I use it for breading chicken fried venison steaks also so I just keep some out there. I also keep a small bottle of vegetable oil on the shelf. Just be careful to check it periodically so that you don’t accidentally use some that might have turned rancid. My regular camping list always includes a stick of butter ( just because) and eggs. The little plastic containers that lunch meat come in have worked very well for bringing about 5 or 6 eggs depending on the size. With a little bit of planning, you can prepare some pretty impressive and much appreciated desserts not to mention that there will be less stuff to pack up and take home after the camping trip.

Deerslayer’s Favorite Cranberry Dessert
enough fresh cranberries to cover the bottom of a pie plate (about 1 1/2 cups)
enough pecan pieces to cover the cranberries (about 1 cups)
about 1/4 cup of sugar
Batter
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tbsp. shortening ( or shortnin’)
1/2 cup flour

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Grease pie plate well.

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Spread cranberries over the bottom, then nuts, then 1/4 cup sugar over both.

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In a bowl, beat egg well, and add 1/2 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly. Add flour, melted butter and shortening (or shortnin’). Beat well.

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Pour batter over the top of cranberry/pecan/sugar layers.
Bake in 325 degree oven for 45 minutes.

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I’ve included the recipe to accommodate a round pie plate. A disposable aluminum one will work just fine. One less dish to wash. One of the things that I love about this dessert is that it is very easily adapted to a 9 x 13 baking dish for larger crowds, larger appetites, or the desire for leftovers (we love this for breakfast with coffee). It’s only important to cover the bottom of the surface with cranberries, pecans, and a sprinkling of sugar. Exact proportions aren’t necessary. The ingredients in the batter can easily be doubled. The cooking time, from my experience, remains the same. Keep in mind that cranberries are acidic and react with aluminum cookware, leaving marks on baking pans and such, but will not affect the flavor. I wanted to use my new cast iron skillet so I used that.
My deerslayer was surprised and pleased. We gathered around the new skillet and dug in. Fewer plates to wash! We were roughing it, after all!


 
 

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